Central to the GSSM educational experience is a close knit living-learning community, which provides a safe, collaborative and social environment.
The residential experience is one the best parts of GSSM. Living on campus provides students the opportunity to create lifelong friendships with individuals from all over South Carolina. GSSM students have the opportunity to eat meals, hang out and live with friends in a family-like atmosphere.
Houses of GSSM
The residential spaces at GSSM consist of two residence halls. The Denny W. Neilson Hall houses all female students and the James D. Daniels Hall houses all male students. The residential living program is based in a House System, where each floor represents a House. Rooted in the centuries old model of English boarding schools, the House System is unique in the United States. Designed by a student committee, the GSSM House System aims to help students develop community values, instill a sense of belonging, and promote school spirit through healthy competition. The GSSM community is governed by the following values we call Our Civitas: Accountability, Commitment, Compassion, Fairness, Honesty, Respect, Responsibility, Safety, Trust, and Wellness. GSSM student leaders play a significant role in the operations of each house.
Campus Life Team
The Campus Life staff members are responsible for managing the residence hall and providing guidance and support to GSSM students, particularly in the areas of character and community development.
The Residence Life Coordinators (RLCs) are professional, full-time staff members with a master or bachelor degree, who live in the residence hall. The RLCs supervise two Resident Assistants (RAs) who also live on their floors. RAs are local college students who are chosen for their maturity, leadership, communication skills, and interest in working with teenagers. Staff members plan hall activities, assist in enforcing guidelines, and act as liaisons between the students and staff.
Campus Life and Student Engagement staff members create activities, programs, and trips that create educationally meaningful experiences outside of the classrooms. These experiences are also fun and relaxing.
Example of recent activities, field trips, and programs include:
- Sadie Hawkins Dance
- Ice cream Socials
- Winter Formal
- Flag Football
- Game Night
- Florence Mall
- Historic Charleston
- Myrtle Beach
- Outlet Mall- Charlotte
- McEntire Joint National Guard Base
- Managing Stress
- Lunar New Year Festival
- Study Tips
- Health and Wellness
- Celebrating Diversity
- Taste of Brazilian Culture
- Time Management
A hot breakfast is available from 7:30-8:30 a.m., with cereal, fruit and drinks available all day long. Students attend class between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Because courses operate on a college model, students may have free time between classes during the day. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. Most students have dinner from 5-6 p.m. After dinner, students have club meetings, play sports, play music or just relax by watching TV, playing pool or video games until QUEST begins at 8 p.m.
From 8-10 p.m. on school nights, GSSM students QUEST—which stands for Quality, Uninterrupted, Enforced Study Time. During QUEST, the entire school is devoted to silent study, with the exception of the dining hall where students may study in groups.
From 10-10:30 p.m., there's "happy half" when all male and female students mingle and socialize one last time for the day. At 10:30 p.m., all students return to their rooms and then relax and wind down until “lights out” at midnight.
Weekends are more laid back with no QUEST or lights out. GSSM students spend the weekend mornings sleeping in and the rest of the day studying, doing laundry, going on trips, going home to visit their family or just relaxing.
Our dining hall serves three homemade meals a day. Our chefs take great pride in the food they serve and are happy to work with students who have allergies or food sensitivities. The dining hall has a hot food bar with new options every day, a salad bar, a sandwich station, desserts and drinks.
Campus Public Safety/Security
The security team is on duty 24 hours a day. Our Public Safety personnel, including certified Law Enforcement Officers, make rounds inside and outside the Campus to help ensure the safety of GSSM students. Other systems for safety include GSSM's keycard swipe system to help ensure access control for visitors, cameras, fire safety and other emergency procedures. Security officers, staff and students are trained in emergency procedures to include responses to fires, tornadoes, other threats and power outages.